Skip to main content


Presented by

Mailbag: How Will McCarthy Use Cooks, WRs?


I think the Cowboys hit the nail on the head with Brandin Cooks. He fills the need to take the top off the defense and allows CeeDee Lamb to spend lots of time in the slot. With Mike McCarthy now calling plays, how do you see him making the best use of his new talent and the wide receiver group as a whole? – Jeff Neistein/Woodland Hills, CA

Nick: I don't think this really has anything to do with Mike McCarthy and the play-calling. This was about the opportunity to land a veteran player who is a proven playmaker. Any decent play-caller should be able to utilize these guys and be effective. So I think McCarthy will be just fine with Cooks an CeeDee and Gallup in this offense. Where I think this move makes the most sense is that it reminds me of the trade they made on defense with Stephon Gilmore. Cooks is also a player who has bounced around with other teams, but he's been productive every stop he's been. This guy has six 1,000-yard seasons and has at least one with four different teams. That tells me a lot of things, but one of them is that he seems to be scheme-friendly because he goes to different places and not only learns the system quickly, but builds a rapport with the QB. Yes, he's done it with Brees and Brady, also Davis Mills in Houston. So I think you have to credit Cooks for what he's done and he should fit right into this system as well.

Patrik: I am one who was in on maybe taking a shot at the guy in the desert, but there are a couple of reasons I love this trade as a sort of consolation prize for the Cowboys. For one, you're not giving up a second-round pick but instead two Day 3 picks, and not even in the same year, to land a player Dallas tried to acquire in October but backed off after being asked to give a premium pick at that time. Their patience paid off, and in a big way, but I'd pump the brakes on assuming Lamb will spend "lots" of time in the slot. I think McCarthy's goal is to keep defenses guessing and now that Lamb has proven he's a true WR1 outside of the hashes, I doubt they'd flip the calendar back to 2020 in that regard. Cooks can attack defenses from all three WR spots (his speed is lethal), and so can Lamb, then toss in what the team hopes is a true comeback season for Michael Gallup and this receiver corps just hit another stratosphere — a three-headed WR hydra once again in play for Dak Prescott.

Related Content